All MSPs, small and large alike, suffer from the same issue when it comes to ticketing:
Users want to do things their way.
While the customer is always right, it can turn into a huge ordeal to keep track of these sporadic tickets that come in via email and phone calls. On the other hand, getting users to successfully input their tickets through a portal isn't always a walk in the park.
If you've already got a portal in place and are trading in your existing IT ticketing portal for an integrated account management (IAM) platform like CloudRadial, you'll find yourself at an advantage.
After all, your users are used to the process. But those that are training their users for the first time face a training challenge. Through CloudRadial, you should be seeing better-tracked tickets, faster ticket resolution speeds, and more satisfied customers.
If you're missing one (or all) of these benefits, be sure to double-check yourself for:
- Easy to understand ticket fields that the client intuitively knows to fill out
- Correct expectations on how (and why) to use the ticketing feature and the portal
- Incentives and rewards that keep people engaged in the portal.
Let's take a look at each step in greater detail to understand how to make ticketing a success for you.
Simplify Ticket Fields
When you first start with CloudRadial, you'll start your tenant with a wealth of sample content pre-populated in the Partner > Content area. One of the content packages that you have is the "Problem Reports" package – already filled to the brim with individually configured tickets.
Depending on how you currently handle ticketing with your clients, it's either be a blessing or a curse.
On one hand, you want to make your tickets as specific as possible with all the questions you'd ever need to ask in one go. That means having tons of different categories for different problems, like email, phone, hardware, network, server, etc. For that, the sample content is a blessing that saves tons of time.
However, consider your current ticketing processes with your clients.
If they are used to opening their emails or picking up the phone and shooting a generic "help, IT problem!" out, they'll feel totally overwhelmed. Now, they've got to log into a portal, select a category, select a ticket within that category, and fill out as many fields as you've deemed necessary to ask for help.
So is it really better for them?
Absolutely, and it's better for you too. But they won't always see it that way.
The key to success here is dependent on your ability to balance making it easy for them and making it worthwhile for your MSP. If you're noticing that people like the portal but still don't put in tickets, take a good hard look at your categories and fields within those tickets to ensure they're not too hard.
Get a refresher: Learn how to create a problem report package of your own.
The best way to understand this is to discuss it directly with your clients and change it to suit their needs.
Cut down the original sample catalog down to whatever works best for you so you don't have to start from scratch. Add helpful tips here and there to help the client self-triage their issues to cut down on ticket volume, but don't overdo it – after all, they're paying you for support, after all.
Provide the Right Expectations
A large part of success with the ticketing portal has to do with the expectations and benefits being set properly.
A flawless experience is a given, but users want to know why they should take time out of their lives to learn about and use your ticketing portal rather than do things their way (that, to them, has been working up until this portal).
To me and you, CloudRadial is a helpful piece of software that does a lot of things and benefits us immensely. But without the right expectation set for the client, it's just another thing that slows down the process of getting their job done.
To maximize the success and adoption of the ticketing portal, you need to engage with your clients and provide support along the way. Sometimes, that just means simply having documentation on how to submit a ticket at the ready whenever they ask for it.
Depending on the size and maturity of the organization you're dealing with, it might mean more effort. That includes becoming involved with in-person training, announcement emails, presentations, and more.
Realistically, you shouldn't waste time and energy in getting the approval of each and every end user. Focusing your efforts on the points of contact within the company, like administrators and company executives, is far more effective.
After all, if you convey the business-level benefits of tracking ticketing, they'll worry about enforcing adoption from within. Be sure to highlight benefits like:
- Faster ticket resolution times with priority queuing and routing to ensure tickets never get lost
- Real-time ticket tracking so that individuals can know exactly what's happening with their tickets
- Greatly reduced back-and-forth emails asking for additional information with the help of built-in ticket fields
All of these benefits spell out less time with stress and IT headaches and more time focused on productivity and better quality of work.
Offer Incentives and Rewards
Depending on the nature of the client you're dealing with, you may need to up the ante to get them to adopt the ticketing portal. That means offering incentives and rewards wherever it makes the most sense.
Rewards don't have to be high-value (or monetary at all). Setting up fun competitions here and there is a good way of getting people familiar with your portal in general while getting the usage and routine in place.
For example, you can have a points-based competition for people to submit tickets through the portal. The top scorer receives a prize like a pizza party or item – bonus points if it's an office item that they can leave at their desk to attract the attention of others to how they won it.
Remember this too: this is just as much a training for your clients as it is for your internal staff.
Switching over to a ticketing portal and seeing the benefits from it means cutting one-off requests from your technicians. No more doing people favors or putting in tickets for them – you've got to rip the bandage off and practice what you preach, internally and externally.
Keep your internal team trained on the new portal as well and ensure that they're telling the clients that they interact with to use it. Track their efforts too and reward employees internally that help the portal gain adoption.
Improving Ticketing Service
The core truth is that ticketing equals problems and pain – and luckily, your CloudRadial tenant offers much more than that. Make it easy where it counts and focus on doing a superb job with your ticket resolution.
Once you combine all three factors into your ticketing efforts, you'll see increased adoption and tangible business benefits. The important thing, as with anything else in life, is consistency – people are usually resistant to change, so keep reinforcing the habit of submitting a ticket through the portal until it becomes natural.